Motivated by commercial interests



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Exploration & expansion


  1. Exploration & Expansion

  1. Innovations in shipbuilding and cartography allowed Europeans to explore and settle territories overseas.

  2. Motivated by commercial interests and religious fervor and aided by new military advances, explorers from Portugal and Spain at first, then later England, France, and the Netherlands, encountered indigenous (native) peoples and claimed the land for their countries.

  3. Beginning of the 16th century, European adventurers began launching small fleets into the vast Atlantic and beyond: Magellan

  1. Brought about a new era, not only for Europe, but for people of Asia, Africa, & America

  2. Led to radical changes: political, economic, & social life of the entire world

  1. Between 1500-& 1800: European power engulfed the world

  1. Europeans established colonies in the Americas: spread laws, religions, & cultures

  2. Island regions of Southeast Asia: Europeans established their rule

  3. Parts of Asia & Africa: activities from trading goods to trafficking in humans, permanently altering lives of local people

  4. In all regions touched by expansion indigenous peoples: faced exposure to new diseases, alteration of their religions & customs plus the imposition of new laws.




  1. Motives:

  1. Only expansion prior to the 15th century

  1. Crusades: largely a failure

  2. Vikings: 9 & 10 centuries

  1. Stories of fantastic lands

  1. Travels by Marco Polo East Asia and the Silk Road

  2. The Travels of John Mandeville realms that he had never seen

  3. Stories of Christian kingdoms: Prester John in Africa & communities in India founded by Thomas, apostle of Jesus

  1. Economic motives

  1. Muslim conquests cut of routes to Asia: Mongol expansion opened the doors

  2. European renaissance: hopes of finding new areas of trade, especially direct access to spices of the east (but also gold & precious metals)

  3. “serve God and His Majesty, to give light to those who were in darkness, and to grow rich, as all men desire to do” conquistador

  1. Religious

  1. Religious probably secondary to economic motives: but still vastly important

  2. Cortes to his ruler if it was not his duty to ensure that the natives “are introduced into and instructed in the Holy Catholic faith ……”

  1. Technology & innovation

  1. Renaissance expansion was a state enterprise: How much was centralization involved?? historians debate

  2. Monarchies: increased authority & resources: so energies beyond borders

  3. Maps: portolani (made by medieval navigators & mathematicians) useful for voyages in European waters: compass readings, coastal contours, distances between ports

** Ptolemy world map translated into Latin 15th century became useful: not very accurate but better than portolani maps

  1. Ships: mastered axial rudder (from China) combine lateen sail with a square rig

*more mobile, use against the wind, engage in naval warfare, and carry heavier cannon

e. quadrant used to establish their latitude, but not useful below equator

* compass and astrolabe (far east &Islamic states)

f. knowledge of wind patterns and where to utilize them




  1. Portugal

  1. Prince Henry the navigator 1394-1460

  1. Maritime Academy 1416

  2. Explored west African coast

  1. 1441 – Senegal River brought Africans to be sold as slaves

  2. 1471 – source of gold hump of Western Africa (Gold Coast)

  3. Zaire (Congo) River --- gold, ivory, slaves set up trading ports

  4. Stories of route around Africa to India continue to explore

  1. Bartholomew Diaz: Cape of Good Hope 1488 (1450-1500)

  1. Used westerly winds to round tip

  2. Returned do to fear of mutiny

  1. Vasco Da Gama: India 1498 (1460-1524)

  1. Stopped at ports along eastern coast controlled by Muslims

  2. Reached southwestern India

  3. Calicut --- announced “in search of Christians & spices” found spices

  4. Finger & cinnamon brought back earned investors several thousand %

  1. Pedro Cabral: Brazil 1500

  1. Gives them rights to territory in new world

  1. Empire: success was guns and seamanship

  1. utilized key points of pre-existing trade networks: control those points

  2. Established string of forts that allowed them to control the region’s trade

  3. Lacked excess population to expand control into the interior regions they controlled

  4. Trade controlled by the Casa da India

  1. 1509 --- Portuguese armada defeats combined Turkish & Indian fleet off coast of India

  1. Stop flow of spices to Muslims in Egypt & Ottoman Empire by Red Sea

  2. Alfonso de Albuquerque (1462-1515) sets up headquarters at Goa – Portuguese operations

  3. Albuquerque controls Malacca 1511

  1. Destroy Arab spice trade & route to Moluccas (Spice islands)

  2. Export of cloves

  3. Massacred Arab citizens cut of rt. hand of men, noses & ears of women

  1. 1570 – Portuguese fleet fought a horrific battle against a Muslim fleet near Singapore. Many of the guns and gunners were from the Ottoman Empire




  1. Eventually lost out to Dutch & English in controlling trade and territory in far east

  1. lacked the staying power

  2. population

  3. desire to colonize Asian regions

  4. guns & seamanship reason for early success




  1. Spain

  1. Resources gave Spanish advantage to build overseas empire

  2. Christopher Columbus 1451-1506

  1. Sailed August 3, 1492, reached Bahamas October 12

  2. Assured rulers find gold but also opportunity to convert natives to Catholic religion

  3. Did explore all major islands of Caribbean & mainland of Central America

  1. Amerigo Vespucci from Florence

  1. Accompanied several voyages

  2. Wrote letters describing geography of new world

  3. Publication led to name “America” after him

  1. Treaty of Tordesillas June 7, 1494

  1. Spain & Portugal divided South America along a line 1200 miles west of Cape Verde Islands

  2. Agreement & blessing by the Pope

  3. Gave lands west of Atlantic to Spain

  4. Later line changed, gave Brazil to Portugal Line of Demarcation

  1. Ferdinand Magellan 1480-1521

  1. 1519 --- circumnavigation of world

  1. Hernan Cortez 1485-1547

  1. Explored the coast for the governor of Cuba

  2. Nov. 18, 1519 entered Tenochtitlan

  3. Driven out of city July 1, 1520 returned and conquered ugust 13, 1521

  4. Success: smallpox & warriors from one of the provinces

  5. Major structures torn down, stones used to build government buildings

  1. Francisco Pizarro (1475-1541) conquers Inca Empire 1532

  1. also had steel weapons, gunpowder, horses

  2. Villages also hit by smallpox

  3. Civil war between two brothers also helped

  4. Also used native warriors against Inca




  1. Administration of the Spanish Empire

  1. Queen Isabella institutes the Spanish encomienda

  1. System that permitted the Spanish to collect tribute from the natives and use them as laborers.

*In return, the holders were to protect, pay wages , and supervise spiritual needs of the natives.

*Didn’t work --- 3,000 miles away: Forced labor, starvation, & disease took its toll



  1. System eliminated, due in part to Las Casas

*replaced with Viceroy system: represented the ruler of Spain

  1. Papacy involved

  1. Mass conversion of the natives by Dominicans, Franciscans, & Jesuits

  2. Dioceses, parishes, cathedrals, schools, & hospitals appeared

  3. Also the Spanish inquisition --- Peru 1570 and then Mexico 1571



  1. Columbian Exchange

  1. Diseases facilitated the defeat of native peoples, and new food sources and luxury items were brought to Europe, forever changing the economy and affecting the demographics of the continent.

  2. Reciprocal exchange of plants & animals between Europe & America

  3. Most important item was disease

  1. eventually led to 90-95% loss of population

  2. Loss of labor force made importation of slaves from Africa highly profitable

  3. Horses, pigs, cattle, chickens, sheep, & goats ecological disaster

  4. Maize, beans, peanuts, potatoes, sweet potato, manioc, squashes, pumpkins, pineapple, tomato, chili pepper, cocoa

  1. Europe was able to produce and sustain a larger population. One acre of potatoes could sustain the same number of people that it took 17 acres of wheat to sustain




  1. Dutch

  1. 7 northern provinces Antwerp & Amsterdam trading crossroad of Europe

  2. Dutch East India Trading Co. 1602

  1. Commercial supremacy in the Indian Ocean region & Southeast Asia

  2. Headquarters at Batavia (modern day Jakarta) on Java 1619, Malacca by 1640

  3. Established pepper plantations brought massive profits

  4. eventually all Europeans except Dutch expelled from Japan (change in government policy)

  1. in Americas

  1. 1609 with voyages of Henry Hudson: led to establishing New Netherlands (present day new York to Albany)

* Staten Island (Hudson after Dutch parliament, Harlem 1648 by Dutch

  1. Lost control to British by 1664: Dutch West India co. went bankrupt

  1. Not resented by the natives as much as the other European nations

  1. No attempt to convert natives to Christianity

  2. Small population incursion




  1. British

  1. Jamestown 1607

  2. Desire to practice one’s own religion & economic interests led to:

*Massachusetts colony 1660 and then others

3. led to 13 colonies along Atlantic seaboard, thickly populated 1.5 million (1750)

* run by British Board of Trade, Royal Council, Parliament

* merchants resented & resisted regulations by British government

I. French

1. by 1534: Jacques Cartier St. Lawrence River & 1608 Samuel de Champlain

Settlement of Quebec


  1. Thinly populated: hunters, trappers, missionaries, explorers

  2. Wars in Europe more important: opposite of English


Impact of European Expansion

  1. Devastating loss of life and culture

  1. European institutions, religion, language, and culture replaced social & political institutions

  2. Disease devastated the Americas, Slave trade negated population growth for a period in West Africa. Did encourage growth of kingdoms socially & politically

  3. Asia: little impact on China & Japan, but British encroachment in India will have impact and Dutch in Southeast Asian islands

  4. Multiracial society: Central & South America with less rigid attitudes about race

*intermarriage between Spanish & Portuguese males & native Indian women 1501 authorized by Spanish law (mestizos)

*over time, intermarriage by Native African slaves & Europeans (Mulattoes)

*mestizos, mulattoes, descendants of whites, Africans, native Indians in Latin America

*British North America remained largely white offshoot of Europe

2. Ecology of conquered areas affected

a. horses & cattle revolutionized life of the native Americans

b. brought over wheat & cane sugar

c. both leading to large estates & plantations and need for workers (native or imported

slaves)


  1. American crops introduced in West Africa and Asia

  1. Religion

  1. Catholic missionaries far more active than Protestant

  2. Spanish & Portuguese rulers determined to Christianize the natives

  3. Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits

  4. Missions established: educate, convert, teach trades, etc (also as military barriers on frontier)

  5. Jesuits very active in far east

  1. Impact

  1. Gold & silver deposits: amount of gold & silver to Europe set off a price revolution that affected the Spanish economy

  2. New crops to Europe improved the diet (high in carbs, vitamin A & C) increased population

*Lifestyle: chocolate as a drink by 1700, coffee and tea houses by 1650 in London,

Chinese furniture & porcelain



  1. Also impact on competition among European nations which led to conflicts

*Anglo-Dutch wars, British-French rivalry

d. new map: Mercator projection after Flemish cartographer (not exactly land accurate

but lines true direction for ship captain


  1. psychological impact:

  1. Exploitation easy, others saw native areas untouched by European corruption

  2. All basically believed natives should be converted (either peacefully or forcefully)

  3. Ease of success lead to belief of inherent superiority of European civilization & religion

  4. Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment, & new imperialistic era would add to this Eurocentric perspective as the world ventured into the 20th century




  1. Slave Trade

  1. First African slaves were taken by the Portuguese in 1441 from Morocco, as status symbols

  2. 1510 --- Spanish government ordered Africans to be sent to the west Indies Islands to replace the Natives & European slaves

  3. Establishment Trade Triangle --- Europe, Africa, Americas

  4. Plantation system: need for labor for the sugar cane fields in Brazil and the Caribbean Islands that led to expansion of the slave trade and further subjection of native peoples.

  5. Devastating affect on Africa

  6. “from us they have learned strife, quarrelling, drunkenness, trickery, theft, unbridled desire for what is not one’s own, misdeeds unknown to them before, and the accursed lust for gold”




  1. Mercantilism

  1. Governments established mercantilistic policies, which enabled the state to reap the benefits of trade and colonization.

  2. Chief goal: establish a favorable balance of trade

  3. Government intervened in the economy to secure advantage to itself & the population at large by carefully supervising every aspect of commerce & investment

  4. Use of joint-stock companies: invest in a company & reap the benefits

  5. Three types of colonies

*#1 produces gold & silver

*#2 produces raw materials that were not available in the home country

*#3 captive market for goods produced at home

*** colonies important


  1. Mercantilists --- economic activity was war carried on by peaceful means

* Tariffs on foreign goods, kept out of a country, prevented from competing with domestic industries


  1. Price Revolution

* Inflation: economic problem of 16th century

*inflation was low, but European economy accustomed to stable prices

* food prices most notable: wheat

* wages failed to keep up with prices

* affected wage earners (farm laborers & salaried workers)

* landed aristocrats, commercial & industrial entrepreneurs benefitted

* now expanded markets, cheap labor costs

*modern belief: growing population increased demand for land & food, so drove up



prices


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